Activities held in response to World Toilet Day

Sunday, 2016-11-20 13:53:09
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Delegates at the meeting vowed to improve sanitary conditions for people. (Photo provided by the organising board)
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NDO/VNA – A meeting accompanied by a series of activities was held in Hanoi on November 19 in response to World Toilet Day by the Ministry of Health, Vietnam Youth Federation and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

According to Nguyen Thi Lien Huong, Director of the Health Environment Management Agency (under the Health Ministry), environmental sanitation and hygiene in Vietnam’s rural areas remains poor despite great improvements in living standards thanks to rapid economic development over the past years.

Huong said only 65% of households in rural areas had standard toilets as of the end of 2015, while more than five million people still continue to defecate in the open. In the Mekong Delta region, many fish ponds are still used as toilets.

Meanwhile many schools, offices and public areas lack toilets, while existing facilities are often sub-standard, affecting the studying and working conditions and service quality as well as economic development, she added.

Poor public awareness and lack of attention on the part of local authorities are the main reasons behind the lack of sanitation facilities.

Huong urged ministries, localities as well as schools to boost the importance of standard toilets among the public.

A UNICEF representative told the meeting that about one third of child deaths in Vietnam are linked to malnutrition, which is related to diarrhoea and parasitic worms caused by poor sanitation conditions.

A display of standard toilets and a run to promote hygienic toilets for children took place at the meeting, attracting the participation of over 3,000 people.